RPS Ventures Boosts Global Small Business with Tala Backing

In just two years, Venture Capital company, RPS Ventures, has steadily moved up the VC ranks. Co-founded by former Softbank partner, Kabir Misra, the mega venture firm, founded in 2016, RPS specializes in backing global companies in later-stage company-wide growth.

In one of its biggest ventures to date, RPS recently led the $110 million funding of Santa Monica, CA-based microlender, Tala, which provides small loans to consumers and small businesses, globally. (Other backers include PayPal, Revolution, IVP, Lowercase Capital, Thomvest Ventures, and Data Collective.)

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Founded by Shivani Siroya in 2011, Tala allows people in Mexico, India, Tanzania, Kenya, and the Philippines to take out small loans of $10 to $500 for investment in their small businesses. Customers can receive and repay loans at more than 40,000 pickup points, in addition to mobile wallets.

Today, the company, which made Forbes’ Fintech 50 list earlier this year, has more than four million customers who take three to six loans per year, on average. Loans are approved within minutes and distributed through a mobile payment platform.

In a recent interview, Siroya said that three billion do not have access to basic financial services, which is something Tala wants to reverse. “These are the people who are on the cusp of the global middle class, small business owners who want to invest in growth, salaried workers who need to cover expenses between paychecks, and parents who want to pay school fees for their children” she said.

New funding will help Tala expand its business in India and some new regions like Latin America, Southeast Asia, and West Africa, in addition to offering some new products like health insurance and a financial educational and coaching program for business owners within the next year.

The company, which currently has 600 employees in Santa Monica, Mexico, the Philippines, India, and Kenya, is now worth $750 million, according to TechCrunch.
In conjunction with its funding, RPS’ Misra has also joined Tala’s board of directors.

This year, RPS has been on a roll, specifically boosting business in India. Most recently, the company also helped back Indian storage technologies firm, Pavilion Data Systems, helping contribute to the startup’s total funding of $58 million. This summer, the VC also contributed to the Facebook-backed social commerce startup, Meesho, along with other investors Bain Capital, Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, Shunwei Capital, and DST Partners.